Navigating the Changing Recertification Landscape

April 11, 2013

By John F. Kuemmerle, MD, AGAF

ABIM will be implementing changes to its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program beginning January 2014. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and ABIM, which is a member of ABMS, endorse the need for more frequent participation in MOC activities of board certified physicians than is currently required every 10 years. ABIM and ABMS, along with other external health organizations and the general public, believe that a more continuous MOC program helps you keep pace with changes in the science of medicine and assessment.

ABIM offers a website to provide you with more detailed information on the changing requirements. In January 2014, ABIM will also provide a unique personalized physician portal for each diplomate that will show exactly what they are required to complete and available resources to meet their MOC requirements. ABIM will offer physicians two MOC fee payment options for added convenience (annual or 10-year options). Here is what members need to know about their certification status beginning in January of 2014:

  • All ABIM Board Certified physicians, including those holding certifications that are valid indefinitely, will need to engage in MOC activities more frequently to be reported as “meeting MOC requirements.”
  • Physicians will remain certified for the time period remaining on their current certifications (provided they hold a valid license).
  • All ABIM Board Certified physicians holding at least one valid certification will be considered “meeting MOC requirements” at program launch in 2014, regardless of enrollment status. If you are not enrolled in MOC you will need to activate your MOC program by March 31, 2014, and pay either the annual or a 10-year MOC program fee at that time.

New MOC requirements beginning January 2014:

  • Complete an ABIM MOC program activity to earn MOC points every two years, and earn 100 MOC points every five years. Items to note:
    • Points earned every two years will count toward the five-year 100 point requirement.
    • Physicians may complete any certified MOC activity to meet the two-year requirement.
    • Physicians will also have to complete a patient survey and a patient safety module by Dec. 31, 2018, and every five years thereafter.
    • Physicians will be required to pass a secure exam once every 10 years and, beginning in 2014, will earn 20 MOC points for their first MOC exam attempt.
    • Physicians in fellowship training who are board certified in internal medicine will earn 20 MOC points for each year of training they successfully complete.

AGA is committed to helping members navigate the new MOC requirements and provide information on products and resources we have developed to assist with maintaining members’ certificates. Learn more about AGA’s MOC approved products. Despite the program changes, the required components, Part 2 and 4, will remain largely unchanged. We have an ongoing program to provide relevant ABIM certified options to assist our physicians in life-long learning, updating and maintaining their medical knowledge, and improving their practice performance. See the complete list of MOC-approved products for medical knowledge products and for practice performance products.

Note from our editors: This article is the fifth in a six-part series aimed to walk you through the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) future implementation of changes in physician certification. Read the previous articles: "Why Maintain Your Certification?""Recertification Requirements: What You Need to Know", "Recertification: Self-Evaluation Requirements" and "AGA Creates Board Certification and Recertification Prep Tool".

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